2021 saw victims of Remote Access Tool (RAT)scams lost £58m in 2021, official UK police figures show.
RAT scams involve scammers taking control of a victims device, typically in order to access bank accounts.
Some 20,144 victims fell for this type of scam in 2021, averaging around £2800 stolen per incident.
Typically, RAT attacks begin with a victim being inundated with pop-ups claiming there is a problem with the computer. Users are often then asked to call a “hotline” number, when a scammer will persuade them to download a RAT.
RAT scams are often compared to the classic “tech support” scams. Modern RAT scams are typically more device, however, with scammers often cold-calling their victims pretending to work for their bank and claiming that they need computer access to investigate a fraudulent transaction.